February 18, 2008 - Admin
Firearms & the Internet
Including How to Get Your Own FFL
by Rob Lear, Guest Author
What is a FFL License?
FFL is the abbreviation for a Federal Firearms License which is a U.S. Government issued firearm license required of individuals or companies engaged in the business of selling firearms. FFL holders also provide the service of “transferring” firearms to individuals who may have bought the firearm elsewhere and had it shipped to their local FFL holder for transfer to them.
Is it legal to buy firearms over the Internet or by mail order?
Yes! However, all modern firearms must by law be transferred from a dealer with a Federal Firearms License at their business location to the actual buyer. That is why they only ship firearms to a FFL holder for subsequent transfer to our customers, instead of straight to the customer.
Why is a signed FFL License copy required before an Internet or mail order purchase can be shipped?
Possession of the FFL license copy bearing an original ink signature is the legal requirement to ensure that the destination of the firearm is the same as the shipping address on the license. This helps to prevent fraud and the unlawful delivery of firearms to
underage or prohibitive persons. All FFL’s must be current and the FFL holder will check each against the BATF’s on-line database of current and valid FFL’s, keeping criminals from obtaining firearms is the first priority.
Where do I find a Federal Fire arms License Holder to do the transfer for my purchase?
Most of your local gun & pawn shops have a FFL license and will perform the transfer for a small fee. Also, any individual holding an FFL license can do the transfer for you. Doing transfers is an easy way for your local FFL to generate cash flow without carrying inventory. You can also locate FFL transfer Dealers in your area by logging onto several Internet resources.
Is a FFL copy required to purchase and ship optics and accessories? No. Only modern firearms are required to be shipped to a FFL holder. All other items can be shipped direct to the purchaser.
Can I provide background check information over the phone before I pick up my firearm?
No. By law, the required paperwork (ATF yellow sheet) is to be filled out in the presence of a licensed ffl holder. The background check will be initiated with the FBI NICS at the time the yellow sheet is filled out.
What if I get a NICS delay response during the background check?
Delay responses are out of the control of the ffl licensee, and no explanation for the response is given by FBI NICS as to the reason for the delay. Delay responses provide the FBI NICS the following 3 full business weekdays for review of the background check. Generally most of the delay responses have been given a final disposition within 24 hrs.
What if I get a denied response?
Denied responses are out of the control of the ffl license holder, and no explanation for the response is given by FBI NICS as to the reason for the denial. You do have the right to request in writing the reason for the denial. The ffl license holder should have the denied response inquiry forms available.
How old do I have to be to purchase a firearm?
In Texas, the legal age is 18 yrs. for long gun purchases and 21 yrs. Usually between 18 and 21, check locally for the correct age. For handgun purchases. Each state may have different age and eligibility requirements for firearms purchases. It is the BUYER’s responsibility to know their local and state laws. Check with your local FFL holder before making a purchase.